A Chat with Dean Knill (05.08.2020)

Dean Knill is a singer-songwriter who has been singing and performing for around 12 years. Using his artistic abilities, he creates contagiously catchy tunes full of emotional energy. His single ‘Butterflies & Warning Signs’ continues his expressions. We sat down with Dean Knill (DK) to talk about this single, his music and much more!

OSR: Was there a moment or experience that made you think: ‘Yes, this is what I want to do!’?

DK: For sure, I realised my love for performing way back when I was a young boy in pantomimes, dance competitions, you name it, I was doing it! But for me, I have always been amazed by the performers like MJ, Justin Timberlake, Bruno Mars, true entertainers. It was Bruno Mars’ Run Away X Factor Performance about 9 years ago that made me want to chase my dreams. I remember watching it like ‘that is what I wanna do’ and ever since I have just been working on my craft as a singer and a songwriter. Every time I am singing, whether it be on stage, in the studio, or even in a car park (good acoustics) it just makes me happy! This is all I have ever wanted to do!

OSR: What is an average day like for you?

DK: I wake up as early as possible, do a morning workout, and have a cold shower (game changer). Grab a coffee and a good breakfast, I love eggs (‘How do you like your eggs in the morning’) scrambled mainly. I will generally write a to-do list for the day and then head down to the studio at about 10 am.

Studio days are a hard one because it does depend on the day, but if I am in my studio I generally aim to complete two song titles and full concepts/ideas and I will work to complete one solid song. I generally do an hour or two of social networking and emails. I still try to do 45 minutes of vocal practice or exercises every day regardless of whether or not I am recording or performing, this is just to keep me at my best. The rest of the studio day depends on the day but it generally comes to an end around 6 pm. The rest of the day is spent with friends or family.

I will always try to read or watch a good movie before I go to sleep, mostly to learn, but also because it helps with inspiration.

OSR: What was the inspiration for ‘Butterflies & Warning Signs’?

DK: ‘Butterflies & Warning Signs’ is a massive one for me. I have had my fair share of crap relationships and they have gone on to inspire this song. The idea of recognising the warning signs early on but continuing to pursue a romantic relationship anyway, it’s like the beforehand of a tragedy that is anxiety-induced, but so compelling.

OSR: What was the biggest hurdle you had to overcome while making the single?

DK: The biggest hurdle is always the fear of how well it will be received. I mean for me at least, the creative process is always hugely enjoyable, taking what is initially just a concept based on the idea of experiencing butterflies and warning signs at the same time. Now, hearing it as the saucy banger that it is I can’t think back to an obstacle as such in the whole process. I think that’s why it is vital to have like-minded people around you

OSR: What is your favorite and least favorite part about your creative process?

DK: My favorite part is by far writing lyrics, I love storytelling and then hearing that come to life. My least favorite would probably be all the post-production jazz, I am not a fan of that side of things, as much as I see art to it, it doesn’t take my fancy at all! (laughs)

OSR: How do you deal with writer’s block?

DK: I very rarely suffer writer’s block as such, but then I am not a full-time songwriter, therefore there is a little less pressure day-to-day to produce something extraordinary. I see it as a creative process, so forcing it, to me, seems strange. I generally write when I have something to say or when I want to express something I have personally witnessed or experienced. However, I do take inspiration from films and books from time to time. The vocabulary, phrases, and certain sayings can spark nice, unique lyrical content that maybe you wouldn’t have thought of otherwise.

Dean Knill

OSR: What is your fondest musical memory?

DK: ‘I Loved You More’ becoming a fully produced song and hitting over 10,000 streams on Spotify within the first four months. Though I cannot wait to get out and perform these songs live and make even more great memories!

OSR: What draws you to your preferred genre?

DK: I love to have fun and pop music allows me to have lots and lots of fun but at the same time, I can write really meaningful lyrics that carry a great deal of weight! I think that and the performance aspect are what draws me in the most!

OSR: What is the most trouble you have ever been in?

DK: I honestly don’t think I have been in trouble since I was a teen! I remember working two jobs at University, one of which was for a night club, the other was a sunglasses shop. I happened to stay for the lock-in at the club until stupid o’clock, woke up the next afternoon and I had completely missed my first proper shift at the sunglasses shop, to which I remember calling up the manager and saying ‘I don’t think this is going to work’ its safe to say her reply was quite unprofessional, but I deserved it, to say the least. I had a better job a week later, it was a win-win for me.

OSR: What are your plans for the future?

DK: I want to have a real impact on people’s lives, add value, and create opportunities for myself and others. I have big big plans, stick around and you’ll see.

Thanks to Dean Knill for chatting with us! You can find more about him on his website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Spotify.

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